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CLEAR GOALS With all the benefits they bring, it’s hard to understand why clubs aren’t using exercise management systems properly. However, as Griffiths explains: “The two main issues with exercise management systems are understanding and buy-in, which go hand-in-hand. The reasons for purchasing a system in the first place should be clear, whether it’s for GP referrals, to improve retention, to provide better member service or to run member competitions. “Selling the system throughout

the club is paramount, from club management to gym managers, fi tness professionals and members. All must understand how the system will help them personally. When management knows what reports they want and why, their knowledge fi lters down to the staff – staff who need to know how to operate the system day-to-day.” The risk is that clubs may feel

swamped with data, particularly when using more of the value-added modules on their system. However, as Griffi ths explains, focusing on what the club/staff/members want to achieve and fi ltering out the noise will help. Graphical representations can also make it easier to analyse the data – looking at pictures or trends is much easier than looking at tables of fi gures. Ultimately, he says, exercise

management systems help you to know more about your members, boosting retention, but: “Any system is only as good as the people (including members) using it, so understanding the system and using it properly is vital to success.” We talk to a selection of operators

to understand their best practice use of exercise management data.


Managing director, Xpect Health and Fitness, Braintree


achieving their goals, they’re receiving value for money from their membership fees and will therefore be less likely to leave. To do this, they need guidance. FitLinxx has allowed us to set


KPIs for our gym team. We’ve tried to paint the picture of an instructor acting as a shepherd to a fl ock of members. By splitting the membership base across a team of shepherds, the fl ock has been broken down into smaller, more manageable fl ocks of customers and, for the fi rst time, we’re now truly able to measure the effectiveness of a fi tness instructor. When I was fi rst introduced to

FitLinxx, it occurred to me that we could really use this product to implement customer relationship management techniques in the gym. Our 10 years of working with

FitLinxx has highlighted that the fi rst priority is ensuring that all new customers are thoroughly inducted on, and signed up to, the FitLinxx system. This may appear an obvious statement but, if we fall at this fi rst hurdle, then all the other systems become irrelevant. For me, this fi gure – the percentage of new joiners we induct on to FitLinxx – is possibly the most important statistic generated by the software each month.

Xpect has been working with FitLinxx for 10 years

But FitLinxx isn’t a panacea for all ills:

without creating the right customer- centric culture and framework, it will fail. Our team understands, however, that the system is central to our club’s ethos and that discipline is needed to enforce it – otherwise it can become a tick-box system with instructors only paying lip service to resolving the triggers and following the required interaction processes. The real challenge is ensuring we are utilising FitLinxx in every hour of every day of operation.

e’ve always recognised that, if members are



Xpect: Each member has an instructor who’s responsible for developing a relationship with them july 2010 © cybertrek 2010 Read Health Club Management online at 57

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